“I wanted to see a woman lead the great nation, so my own spine could be straighter this blustery sunny morning.” Hilary Mantel

The unthinkable—at least from inside my bright blue bubble—has happened and now Donald Trump is going to be our next president.  As you may recall I was am a Hillary fan girl.  A week ago I put on my suffragist whites and drove to my local polling place to turn in my ballot. As well as MJ’s. Because when he’d offered to drop mine off earlier that morning I’d said no, that this was an historic day and even though we’d filled out absentee ballots in advance I was going to go to a polling place in person and vote for the first woman president!

I went out to lunch with my sister to celebrate.  We ordered the dessert sampler because it was a day to pull out all the stops.  Both of my girls called and we happily chatted about the election night parties they were either throwing or attending that night.  MJ had a class to teach so I settled in by myself to watch the results. But since it wasn’t even dusk here in California I decided I’d catch up on Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend until the news called it for Hillary.  The ultimate Girls Night In.

Then my phone started pinging. “What the heck is going on with this election?” texted my sister, coming as close to swearing as a good Mormon girl can come.  “Is this the way elections always go?” from my son who was voting in a presidential election for the first time.  “YOUR DAUGHTERS ARE NOT IN A GOOD PLACE RIGHT NOW,” from one daughter.  “Apparently I know nothing,” from the other referencing our earlier conversation where she’d blithely said she wasn’t worried at all about the election outcome.

I quickly turned over to the news coverage and saw that, indeed, very few of the people I regularly read or listen to knew anything about how 47.5% of Americans who voted would vote.

The morning after the election I was as dazed and disoriented as Barron Trump had appeared when his father accepted the presidency. I forced myself to attend a demonstration about decorating with materials foraged from wild spaces.  But first I consoled the woman who comes every other week to clean my house about the possibility of her husband being deported, his papers filled out but never filed, or maybe even her daughter who was born here in America.  At the demonstration, tearful women cautiously sidled up to each other trying not to offend those in the group who might also be quietly celebrating that day.  Everyone cheered when I won one of the raffled floral arrangements—a crown-like succulent sitting on top of a black and white vase.

The rest of the week I kvetched and commiserated and sought out chagrined experts analyzing what went wrong.  I read about country vs. city folk and thought of the boarded up main street of my hometown in Idaho.  I teared up at the earnestness of  “Leslie Knope” when she loses an elementary school election to a cartoon character named Dr. Farts.  I  agreed that Trump had superior storytelling strategies (even if I hated the tales he told) and realized that though I supported Hillary, I couldn’t find a message in her campaign that would comfortably fit on a ball cap—which is, according to filmmaker Michael Moore, what this election was all about.

I know people who voted for Trump.  I’m related to some of them.  One chided me the night before the election for posting a selfie in a Hillary t-shirt. “You were raised better than this.” Others are friends that are some of the kindest, most generous people I know.  It remains a mystery to me how they can compartmentalize Trump’s misogynistic, xenophobic, bigoted statements the way they do.  But then, they probably think I’m just as blind when it comes to Hillary’s foibles.  And yet, if we’re in the business of weighing sins, I can see no parity.  And if we’re going to use a separate scale to judge competency and  experience, in my mind there’s no contest.

But those calculations are in the past—and now what do we do going forward?  I’m starting with small acts of kindness like welcoming an older woman who moved in next door, writing a yelp review for my El Salvadoran handyman, and sending money to charities that work to protect our planet and support refugee and womens’ rights. I’m keeping my ears and eyes open for larger ways to contribute from my clearly privileged perch. All the while noting the beauty that continues to manifest even in the darkest times—dogwood leaves glowing red against the blue November sky, pockets of orange pyracantha berries revealing themselves along the freeways, an amber super moon rising above the greening hills.

This past Sunday I drove down to Lake Merritt—a heart-shaped lagoon in the middle of Oakland—and stood with thousands of mourners as we clapped and held hands and sang “Imagine” on a beautiful fall day when it seemed like nothing bad could ever happen in this world. Kumbaya! Hallelujah! As I returned to my car a family carrying a large American flag walked ahead of me.  The father held his young son’s hand as his daughter skipped a few steps behind, the red and white stripes flowing over her. We’d all done what we could that day to give peace a chance.

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Happy Halloween!

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Making a Difference with DIFFA 2016

For Bay Area readers, the holiday party season kicks off with a festive fundraiser supporting the UCSF Positive Health Program and DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS).  Funds raised help care for men, women and children with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco.

In the past, DIFFA has sponsored a gala evening showcasing tableware displays. This year, however, the fundraiser consists of a silent auction of one-of-a-kind home decor objects created by some of the local design community’s brightest lights.   Held at The NWBLK in Mission Gulch on Wednesday,October 12, the auction will feature unusual works like the mirror-polished brass-topped “Shine” table above by Oakland’s MRCW Design Build.

Another illuminating item coming out of the East Bay is the Inanna Pendant Light by Erin McGuinness. Made of clay, this pendant light serves as a metaphor for the sculptor’s creative process.

Other shiny objects up for auction have been designed by Bay Area design luminaries Martha Angus and Gary Hutton and design establishments Arterra Landscape Architects, BaDesigns, BCJ and Gensler.

Sure to be a dazzling evening.  For tickets go to

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Ever Green Design

I’ve written about a number of eco-friendly homes over the years but this beautiful remodel by architect Sherry Williamson has to be one of the most stylish.  You can read more about the overall project in the current (October 2016) issue of Diablo Magazine, but I’m sharing a few photos here along with some ideas for how to create your own “healthy home.”

Marin County-based Williamson oversaw this elegantly spare design.  It demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to practices and products that are both good for the environment and create a healthy environment for the homeowners and their young family.  Williamson and the rest of the design team including Andrew Mann Architecture, McCutcheon Construction and Scott Lewis Landscape Associates made sure that every detail was as environmentally friendly and health-conscious as possible.

“Bringing the team up to speed on the level of green (which exceeded LEED in many areas) was probably the biggest challenge with this project. It really was a great opportunity to investigate the materials in all of the building materials and in the furnishings,” says Williamson.  “When confronted with a challenge, we didn’t say ‘no’ that’s not possible. We asked how can we get what we are looking for in perhaps a new way? We were open to new materials and ideas.”

If you, too, are open to new ideas in green design take a look at these terrific suggestions from Williamson for creating our own healthy homes.


- Find low or no-VOC finishes for wood or wall paints.  Many companies offer these now and avoid the toxic mildewcides and biocides in paint. Try Auro USA or ECOS Paint or Benjamin Moore’s Aura.

- Select stone carefully. Some granite and other stone countertops are radioactive!  You can ask most stone suppliers and they’ll guide you away from those likely to be radioactive (or you can have someone measure a stone with special equipment) but different batches can vary from a quarry.

- Avoid sealants on stone or grout. This family of products seems to contain a lot of harmful chemicals and no good options were found. The stone countertops in this house are all unsealed.

- Consider Aerogel insulation. This is a ‘space-age’ batt insulation material used by NASA as it protects very efficiently even in a very thin layer. Not always easy to obtain—but it was used for this project where we needed to have high insulation values and there was limited space.

Appliances + Fixtures

- Ask about BPA and other plastics used in common appliances like refrigerators. Some appliances utilize more costly stainless steel components that are durable and non-toxic. Miele seems to be a leader in cleaner products while SubZero told us they still used BPA in their refrigerator drawers when we inquired during this project. See more on BPA below under Household.

- Replace old toilets that use lots of water with efficient new ones that use less water. We used the Kohler Santa Rosa at 1.28 gallons per flush.

- Install a water filtration system for the drinking water. Many are available and remove the chlorine and other chemicals in standard city drinking water.


- Ask questions when you buy upholstered furniture. Some companies will be happy to provide information (Cisco for instance), while others are unable or don’t want to provide any details.

- Avoid ‘stain resistant’ applications for fabrics that most manufacturers and installers offer – like ScotchGuard, GoreTex or Teflon. Most stain resistant products are made up of PFC’s (like PFOA or PFOS) chemical compounds that are not proven healthy – many companies won’t divulge the ingredients – See articles here and here.

- Select all-wool carpeting with natural latex backing or antique wool area rugs. These clean easily with warm water. And avoid chemical backings on wall to wall carpets that can off-gas for months or years, creating unhealthy indoor air quality.

- Use carpet pad without off-gassing chemicals and no PVC like Ultimate Slide-Stop (or called GripTex) by American Fiber Cushion for large area rugs

- Buy a non-toxic mattress and pillows – many mattresses use foams with unknown ingredients, like memory foam and you sleep on this every night.  Find a company that lists ALL ingredients in their mattresses and pillows like European Sleepworks in Berkeley! They are one of the first to produce organic mattresses and they have their fabrics certified through OEcotex.


- Use simple cleaning products – not ones with complex and toxic ingredients – and avoid harsh cleaning products that can also damage the finishes on sinks, faucets, tubs, toilets, countertops, etc.

- Avoid plastic food containers like sports bottles and plastic toys – store food in glass, use stainless steel dishes for reusable picnic ware – even BPA-free (bisphenol A) plastics are not the solution as BPA has been replaced with similar chemicals that are still untested and are believed to be harmful to humans (BPS is used now, and next in line could be Bisphenols AF, BPK, C, DK, F, G, M, PH, TMC and Z).  See articles here and here.

- Use stainless steel or cast iron or enameled cookware – avoid stick-resistant finishes and aluminum pans.

All photographs by David Wakely


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Friday Things: The Photo Editing Edition

Yesterday I attended an iPhone photo editing workshop by Seattle-based photographer David Perry.  The workshop was sponsored by my local chapter of the Garden Club of America of which I’m a new member. I can tell already that this will be a fun group to hang out with—garden ladies are the best!

I thought I’d pass along a few of the photo editing apps and tips that Perry demonstrated in case you, too, want to play around with your digital photos.  Early on in the workshop, Perry sent us out the door to shoot some simple “haiku-like” garden images using an app called Camera+  (NOT to be confused with Camera Plus).  I liked that the focus feature was so clear and easy to use.  For example, see how crisp the anemone is in original shot used for the photo above.

Then Perry showed us how to manipulate the photos with Handy Photo.  It has many of the basic editing tools like shadows, contrast, sharpness, color, etc. but is very user-friendly. I especially liked its “lasso” feature that allowed you to get rid of little bits like my toes creeping into this photo of some leaves in water.


Perry moved on to layering textures onto photos with an app called Mextures.  This produced the blurred colors on the anemone photo and some of the deeper colors on the leaves photos.  Finally, he added words with Over.  Frankly, I don’t know how often I’ll use this app since putting words on photos makes them look a little too much like a Hallmark Card to me. However, there are times when I’ve used a word app like this before for holiday greetings or when I’m setting my yearly intention.  So I’m sure I’ll use this occasionally.  Perry also recommended Enlight for straightening photos reminding us that “no one app does it all.”

Perry’s overall advice when taking photos—particularly garden photos, which can often be very stagnant—is to Avoid Shooting the Noun.  In other words, don’t just put a flower in the middle of a photo and snap a picture.  “Try to shoot the adverbs and adjectives instead.”

Off to the beach for a friend’s daughter’s wedding where I hope to snap some ROMANTIC photos as we HAPPILY celebrate this new union.

Happy Weekend All!


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Friday Things: The Fancy Craft Show Edition

As you’ll know from previous posts, I’m a big fan of the American Craft Council San Francisco show held every August at Fort Mason. The ACCSF show is much like a grown up “back-to-school” shopping excursion for me where I go to see what’s new in handcrafted jewelry, clothing and home furnishings.   I popped into this year’s show this morning and thought I’d share some highlights for any of you local readers thinking about attending this weekend.

For the past few years, the show producers have presented four home decor vignettes featuring items that can be purchased at the show (helpful, since some of these craft items are so unique it’s hard to see how they’d work in a space.)  This year’s  theme  was “4 Directions” so there were vignettes depicting North, South, East and West.

Above you’ll see the elegant North vignette designed by L.A. designer Leslie Shapiro Joyal who used the Northern California coast as her inspiration and featured rock sculptures by Gerald Arrington and witty lamps by Will Richards as well as her own Cocoon Bed.  ”Though I’m from L.A., I really tried to capture the Northern California vibe in this room,” says  Joyal. Some of you may know Joyal from Ellen DeGeneres’s “Design Challenge.”

The West vignette was designed by Alden Miller Interiors and inspired by a California beach sunset.  I loved the cozy beach shack feeling of the room and found the whimsical octopus sculpture by Evan Chambers charming.

Some other favorite home decor things included:

Tiles, vases and dinnerware patterned with traditional motifs in a sophisticated neutral palette by Petaluma potter Forrest Lesch-Middleton

Handwoven wool blankets  from Dianne Nordt of Virginia’s  Nordt Family Farm

And indigo-dyed pillows from Berkeley-based textile artist Jenny Fong of Modern Shibori

As always, I came away with some one-of-a-kind items for my home and names of designers I’ll be tracking in the future.  The ACCSF show runs through Sunday. If you live in the Bay Area and would like to attend, you can find out more here.

Happy Weekend All!

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Friday Things: The Hillary Edition

The day after Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major political party finds me a bit groggy.  I didn’t sit down to watch last night’s convention coverage until 10:00 p.m. And by the time I’d sampled Katy Perry’s Fight Song and David Brooks’s fighting words (something to the effect that HRC would do better if she sounded less ambitious), it was nearly midnight before Hillary showed up on my screen. Though I was tempted to call it a night, I couldn’t turn in without seeing history in the making.

Until this campaign I was neither a Hilary fan nor a Hilary hater.  I knew she was smart and well-qualified for the job but her speaking style left me cold. I generally agreed with what she had to say but wished there was a little more poetry in her prose.  I didn’t think she was as duplicitous as her enemies claimed nor as angelic as last night’s white power suit might have suggested.

But I’ve spent a lot of time in recent years immersed in women’s history and I can’t help but be elated that a woman really could be the next president of the United States.  And not just a woman but this woman.  Her intelligence, her experience and her tenacity have won me over.  When she said that she was—“happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.  Happy for boys and men, too—because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone”— it didn’t sound like political claptrap to me.  I’m happy that barrier has fallen.  I’m happy she’s still standing on the other side.  Happy to be “with her.”  And happy to be a woman in America—albeit a sleepy one.

Here are a few other history-making Hillary things I’m happy about.

Dominique Browning on Hillary.

Some historical precedent for Hillary’s white suit.

This video that salutes Hillary’s mother and other heroines.

Happy Weekend All!

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Friday Things: The Tonys Edition

Just a quick note before the Warrior’s game begins. Game 4 is tonight and I’m hoping the Warriors are back to form after the blow-out on Wednesday. We’ll be spending more time than usual this weekend watching televised events with the game tonight and the Tonys on Sunday.  Since I happened to see three (!) of the nominated plays this year–a perk of having a child living in Manhattan–I thought I’d give a quick run down of what I saw when I wasn’t seeing “Hamilton.”

We saw “The View from the Bridge” last fall and it was as chilling as advertised.  The spare stage and visceral acting kept us riveted and the shocking conclusion made for one of my most memorable evenings at the theater. Mark Strong was terrific as the controlling dockworker uncle and I’m hoping he’ll take home a Tony.

“View from the Bridge” was directed by Belgian director Ivo van Hove as was a revival of “The Crucible” featuring Saoirse Ronan.  We caught “The Crucible” a few weeks ago and though I wasn’t quite as taken with it as “Bridge,” it’s certainly stuck with me. Sophie Okonedo was powerful as the wrongly accused Elizabeth Proctor.  Rooting for her too.

On a lighter (sweeter?) note, I took in a matinee of “Waitress” and found it poignant and charming, though I quibbled with the girl power ending. Though it won’t get much love at this year’s Tonys given that it’s going up against “Hamilton,” I suspect it will tour and I’d recommend it.  (In the meantime you can watch the Keri Russell movie version of Waitress.)

Did you see any nominated shows on Broadway this year?  If so, who and what do you hope bring home a Tony Sunday night?

Here are a few other Broadway related things I recommend this week:

Theater and social media humor.

And if you haven’t seen the James Cordon Broadway Carpool Karaoke yet–here you go!

Happy Weekend All!

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Friday Things: The Rise and Shine Edition

Because two friends I walk with in the early morning have been out of town for the past few weeks—summer travel has begun!—I’ve switched up my morning exercise routine by taking more yoga classes at the swim club down the road. Not entirely awake I stumble over to the sound of bird-song and the rhythmic splash of swimmers doing their laps.   In the winter a fog-shrouded sun rises in the east behind the yoga instructor, but now we turn our mats south to avoid being blinded by the fully exposed orb.  Post-namaste I spend time in the garden dead-heading daisies and supplementing the irrigation with a little hand-watering now that the drought restrictions have been (temporarily) lifted.  The lizards scatter and the hummingbirds come in for a sip. Such a lovely way to start my day. Has your daily routine changed much now that summer is here?

 Here are some other things I’ve enjoyed of late.

 A wonderful Career Code profile of our daughter Claire over at WhoWhatWear.

Dress codes for travel (while you’re there, check out the travel uniforms videos at the bottom of the article).

The corrective lenses of travel. 

Maybe you have more time than you think.

To write software, read novels.

Despite all the naysayers, life has never been better.

Elizabeth Gilbert on letting our light shine.

A pretty bar cookie featuring rhubarb. 

Jumping Jetsons! A revolving planter that levitates! 

A new album from The Monkees – “Good Times.

“I was so full of music I had to play.”—Grandma Lo-Fi

Grandma Lo-fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigrídur Níelsdóttir from Republik Film Productions on Vimeo.

Happy Weekend All!

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A Bridal Shower Using (Mostly) Barefoot Contessa Recipes

My oh my, it’s June already.  As Chaucer would say, Summer is A-Comin In!  This is one of my favorite times to entertain since the weather is good and the longer days make for a more relaxed gathering.  Plus the produce this time of year is excellent so food prep can be fairly simple. This coming weekend I’m hosting a dinner for twelve visiting religion scholars (sounds like a riddle or a parable, doesn’t it?) and plan on eating out on the deck.  Because I want to be engaged with our company and not tied to the kitchen or grill I’m making most of the food ahead and just assembling and plating it right before my guests arrive.   I’ll likely do a combination of simple salads and a chicken dish that can be served room temperature followed by cupcakes that can be eaten here or on the run since all the guests are participating in a lecture series that night and the speakers especially may need to leave early. Basically, I’m throwing a picnic here at home.

The menu is a variation on a menu for a bridal shower I threw recently for a friend’s daughter.  The numbers were nearly the same and the weather, thankfully, was good enough that we could eat outside.  It was such a fun party that I thought I’d share the recipes here in case you too are planning a summer picnic at your place.

First, I wanted the food to be fool-proof so I turned to the Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for recipes that were simple and reliable.   I started with a mezze platter from “Make It Ahead” that I served alongside the drinks.   All of the components were made or purchased in advance except for the pita bread triangles which were toasted at the last minute.

Then I followed up with a luncheon buffet featuring her Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad and Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart (recipe below.)

The shrimp orzo salad was better for having sat overnight so the flavors could meld.  I doubled the recipe and had plenty of leftovers so I think one batch could easily suffice for a buffet for twelve.  I also made two zucchini tarts which was the right amount for a dozen guests.  The tarts were beautiful and easy to put together but did take a bit of time.  The recipe says the tart can be assembled four hours ahead and then baked for the party.  That’s true but it did take a good hour or so to assemble the two tarts which added some stress to my party prep given that the party started at 11:00 a.m. Note, too, that when Garten says to overlap the zucchini you really need to overlap because the zucchini rounds will shrink significantly when you bake them (see the goat cheese peeking through on the baked tart above.) Despite a bit of fussiness,  they were a focal point for the spread and delicious warm or at room temperature.

Dessert was a lemon angel food cake from Joyce Goldstein’s  “From Our House to Yours: Comfort Food to Give and Share” accompanied by fresh berries and Garten’s recipe for Make-Ahead Whipped Cream (see below.)

The cake is easy to make and can look fancy without you needing to wield a pastry bag.  It does require lemon oil though which is different than lemon extract.  You can buy lemon oil at specialty food shops or it can also be ordered from Sur La Table.

Following Garten’s recommendations for Making a Schedule in advance (see Barefoot Contessa ”Family Style”),  I laid out the week working backwards from the moment guests arrived at my door in order to spread out the prep and enjoy the actual party.  The work was manageable because I didn’t try to shop, cook and serve the food all in one day.  As Garten says “When I have guests coming in five minutes, I don’t want to be cleaning the kitchen or getting some stray molasses out of my hair.”  Because after all, Summer is not only a-comin in, but when it’s Summertime, the livin’ should be Easy.


Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart 

(from Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead” )

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, 1/2-inch-diced

1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons ice water

1 1/2 pounds zucchini, unpeeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

8 ounces plain creamy goat cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Place the flour, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and the butter in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 12 to 14 times, until the butter is the size of peas.  With the processor running, pour the vinegar and ice water through the feed tube and continue to process and pulse until the dough just comes together.  Dump out on a floured board, form into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a colander set over a plate.  Toss it with 2 teaspoons of salt and set aside for 30 minutes.  Spread the zucchini out on a clean dish towel, roll it up and squeeze gently to remove some of the liquid. Put the zucchini slices into a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. With a fork, mash together the goat cheese, thyme, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and l/4 teaspoon pepper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  roll the dough out on a floured board to an 11-inch circle and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Spread the dough with the goat cheese mixture, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Lay the zucchini slices in tightly overlapping circles, starting at the very edge of the pastry (the zucchini will shrink when it bakes).  Continue overlapping circles of zucchini until the whole tart is covered.  Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.  bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the dough is golden brown.  Cut in wedges and serve hot, war, or at room temperature.


Mile High Lemon Angel Food Cake with Lemon Glaze

(from Joyce Goldstein’s “From Our House to Yours: Comfort Food to Give and Share”)

1 cup cake flour (not self-rising) sifted

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

14 egg whites, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon pure lemon oil (Williams Sonoma carries this if you can’t find elsewhere)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven.  Have ready an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

2. Sift the flour and the confectioners’ sugar together into a medium bowl.

3. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until foamy.  Increase the speed to medium-high, add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat just until the egg whites form soft peaks.  Add the granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat just until the whites form stiff, glossy peaks.  Add the vanilla and lemon oil and beat until well combined.

4. Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold in with a whisk or a rubber spatula.  Continue gently folding, one quarter at a time, until all the flour mixture has been added, being careful not to over mix.

5. Transfer the batter to the pan. Run a table knife through the batter to remove any large air pockets, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the cake pulls away from the side of the pan.  Turn the pan upside down, and balance it on its elongated neck or pan legs or hang  the tube upside down from the neck of a tall bottle.  Let cool to room temperature.

6. Turn the pan right side up. Run a knife around the outside edge of the cake and between the cake and the tube. Release the cake.

Lemon Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest

Pinch of salt

Stir ingredients together in a small bowl.  Let stand for 10 minutes before using. Pour it over the cake and let stand for at least 10 minutes or until the glaze is set.


Make-Ahead Whipped Cream 

(from Ina Garten’s “Make It Ahead”)

1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the cream, confectioners’ sugar, granulated sugar, creme fraiche and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment .  Beat on high speed, until it forms soft peaks.  Serve cold.

Thanks to party guest and photographer Jean Jarvis  for snapping these shots of the bridal shower.

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Kathryn Pritchett

writes about Things Elemental — where we find shelter, why we connect, what sustains us and how we strut our stuff.

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